IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/bla/jrinsu/v75y2008i4p1039-1054.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Consumption Externality and Equilibrium Underinsurance

Author

Listed:
  • Rachel J. Huang
  • Larry Y. Tzeng

Abstract

Relative consumption has been found to be crucial in many areas, such as asset pricing, the design of taxation, and economic growth. This article extends this line of research to the individual's insurance decision. We first define "keeping up with the Joneses" in the purchase of insurance and find that jealousy does not necessarily give rise to "keeping up with the Joneses." We also identify several sufficient conditions that cause the optimal coverage in the private market to be less than the social optimum (equilibrium underinsurance). Jealousy is found to be neither a sufficient nor a necessary condition for equilibrium underinsurance. We further show that a social welfare maximizing government could adopt a tax system to correct for the consumption externality and make individuals better off. Copyright (c) The Journal of Risk and Insurance, 2008.

Suggested Citation

  • Rachel J. Huang & Larry Y. Tzeng, 2008. "Consumption Externality and Equilibrium Underinsurance," Journal of Risk & Insurance, The American Risk and Insurance Association, vol. 75(4), pages 1039-1054.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jrinsu:v:75:y:2008:i:4:p:1039-1054
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1539-6975.2008.00296.x
    File Function: link to full text
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Feldstein, Martin & Liebman, Jeffrey B. (ed.), 2002. "The Distributional Aspects of Social Security and Social Security Reform," National Bureau of Economic Research Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 1, number 9780226241067.
    2. Martin Feldstein & Jeffrey B. Liebman, 2002. "The Distributional Aspects of Social Security and Social Security Reform," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number feld02-1, January.
    3. Alonso-Carrera, Jaime & Caballe, Jordi & Raurich, Xavier, 2005. "Growth, habit formation, and catching-up with the Joneses," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 49(6), pages 1665-1691, August.
    4. Turnovsky, Stephen J. & Monteiro, Goncalo, 2007. "Consumption externalities, production externalities, and efficient capital accumulation under time non-separable preferences," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 479-504, February.
    5. Abel, Andrew B, 1990. "Asset Prices under Habit Formation and Catching Up with the Joneses," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(2), pages 38-42, May.
    6. Jeffrey R. Brown, 2003. "Redistribution and Insurance: Mandatory Annuitization With Mortality Heterogeneity," Journal of Risk & Insurance, The American Risk and Insurance Association, vol. 70(1), pages 17-41.
    7. Coronado Julia Lynn & Fullerton Don & Glass Thomas, 2011. "The Progressivity of Social Security," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 11(1), pages 1-45, November.
    8. Gustman, Alan L. & Steinmeier, Thomas L., 2001. "How effective is redistribution under the social security benefit formula?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(1), pages 1-28, October.
    9. Jaime Alonso-Carrera & Jordi Caballé & Xavier Raurich, 2004. "Consumption Externalities, Habit Formation and Equilibrium Efficiency," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 106(2), pages 231-251, June.
    10. Helmuth Cremer & Pierre Pestieau, 1996. "Redistributive taxation and social insurance," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 3(3), pages 281-295, July.
    11. Jaime Alonso-Carrera & Jordi Caballé & Xavier Raurich, 2006. "Welfare Implications Of The Interaction Between Habits And Consumption Externalities," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 47(2), pages 557-571, May.
    12. Diamond, Peter, 1992. "Organizing the Health Insurance Market," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(6), pages 1233-1254, November.
    13. Bill Dupor & Wen-Fang Liu, 2003. "Jealousy and Equilibrium Overconsumption," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 423-428, March.
    14. John Y. Campbell & John H. Cochrane, 1994. "By force of habit: a consumption-based explanation of aggregate stock market behavior," Working Papers 94-17, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
    15. Martin S. Feldstein & Jeffrey B. Liebman, 2002. "Introduction to "The Distributional Aspects of Social Security and Social Security Reform"," NBER Chapters,in: The Distributional Aspects of Social Security and Social Security Reform, pages 1-10 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    16. Kaplow, Louis, 1992. " Government Relief for Risk Associated with Government Action," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 94(4), pages 525-541.
    17. Thomas Davidoff & Jeffrey R. Brown & Peter A. Diamond, 2005. "Annuities and Individual Welfare," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(5), pages 1573-1590, December.
    18. Blomqvist, A. & Johansson, P-O., 1997. "Economic efficiency and mixed public/private insurance," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(3), pages 505-516, December.
    19. Andrew B. Abel, 2005. "Optimal Taxation when Consumers Have Endogenous Benchmark Levels of Consumption," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 72(1), pages 21-42.
    20. Gali, Jordi, 1994. "Keeping Up with the Joneses: Consumption Externalities, Portfolio Choice, and Asset Prices," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 26(1), pages 1-8, February.
    21. Walter Fisher & Franz Hof, 2000. "Relative consumption, economic growth, and taxation," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 72(3), pages 241-262, October.
    22. Rachel J. Huang & Larry Y. Tzeng, 2007. "Optimal Tax Deductions for Net Losses Under Private Insurance With an Upper Limit," Journal of Risk & Insurance, The American Risk and Insurance Association, vol. 74(4), pages 883-893.
    23. Rachel J. Huang & Larry Y. Tzeng, 2007. "Insurer's insolvency risk and tax deductions for the individual's net losses," The Geneva Risk and Insurance Review, Palgrave Macmillan;International Association for the Study of Insurance Economics (The Geneva Association), vol. 32(2), pages 129-145, December.
    24. Harald Uhlig & Lars Ljungqvist, 2000. "Tax Policy and Aggregate Demand Management under Catching Up with the Joneses," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(3), pages 356-366, June.
    25. Kaplow, Louis, 1992. "Income Tax Deductions for Losses as Insurance," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(4), pages 1013-1017, September.
    26. Eckstein, Zvi & Eichenbaum, Martin & Peled, Dan, 1985. "Uncertain lifetimes and the welfare enhancing properties of annuity markets and social security," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 303-326, April.
    27. George A. Akerlof, 1970. "The Market for "Lemons": Quality Uncertainty and the Market Mechanism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 84(3), pages 488-500.
    28. Liu, Wen-Fang & Turnovsky, Stephen J., 2005. "Consumption externalities, production externalities, and long-run macroeconomic efficiency," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(5-6), pages 1097-1129, June.
    29. Selden, Thomas M., 1993. "Should the government provide catastrophic insurance?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 241-247, June.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Jacqueline Volkman Wise, 2013. "Pension Portfolio Choice and Peer Envy," Journal of Risk & Insurance, The American Risk and Insurance Association, vol. 80(2), pages 461-489, June.

    More about this item

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bla:jrinsu:v:75:y:2008:i:4:p:1039-1054. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Wiley-Blackwell Digital Licensing) or (Christopher F. Baum). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/ariaaea.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.